Welcome to MyOrthodoxFamily.com! Tell us who you are.
I’m Rachael (Vera). I’m a mom to 3 littles (3, almost 2, and 3 months) living in California. I’ve been Orthodox for over 15 years now and still have so much to learn. I’m terrible at introductions like this, but I also love reading, cooking, gardening, horses, singing, books, beauty, and knitting. I also really love connecting on Instagram with other Orthodox moms/ladies.
What do you most enjoy sharing? What do you feel most called to share?
I like to post these long deep thoughts that I call rambles with Rachael. I’m not really good at being brief and often times there isn’t a point, just what I’m feeling and how I’m trying to overcome that feeling or frustration. These are usually accompanied by pictures of the kids so that those who don’t want to read my thoughts don’t have too.
I try to share what is real in my world. There are so many beautiful groomed accounts, and even though I’d like my life to look like that, it isn’t. So I don’t clean my stove(ever), or wash my kids faces or brush their hair, because that is real life for me. I do like to try to take pretty pictures, but they are very real. I want you to feel like you’re experiencing my thoughts and life. And hopefully it’s relatable to some people, because often times it seems like everyone else has it all together and I’m the only one drowning.
The world of social media is complex. What do you see as difficult and as redemptive about sharing your journey in this way?
Gosh it’s so hard. I’ve made some wonderful friendships on Instagram, but it’s also a way for me to avoid my life and living. It can be so difficult to stop scrolling or checking. Sometimes I have to leave my phone in another room to get myself to stop. So the addiction to the phone is definitely a difficulty. But there are many beauties about IG. Oh my goodness, I’ve developed so many wonderful friendships from IG. So much encouragement and joy and sharing our thoughts and understanding together. Women who have encouraged me with their words, gifts, and most importantly prayers. Having many people praying for you really does make a difference. So that part I wouldn’t really give up for anything.
What is your earliest, distinctly Orthodox memory?
Well, I’m a convert so I remember the first time I entered an Orthodox church. Even though I thought icons were idols, I was overwhelmed and overjoyed by the beauty in this church (by no means a grand Orthodox church). The gold, the incense, the singing, the chanting, the robes of the priest overwhelmed me and called to me. Even though I was freaked out by the icons, I was still drawn to them. Why did they seem so expressive? Between the beauty of the church and the warmth and kindness shown to me by the parishioners, I knew that day that I had to become Orthodox. And every day I’m striving to become Orthodox.
What do you hope will be the mark you leave on the world as you pass through it?
I struggle a lot with depression and self worth. As a child, I thought I wanted to be famous, otherwise I would never leave a mark on the world and no one would remember me. Of course that isn’t true, but it’s a bit hard when you frequently feel like you add no value to the world. Even more so since I’m a homemaker and not working at a paying job, which the world dearly loves to communicate homemaking’s worthless. So I hope to leave my mark on my children and community. With my children, I hope to have conquered some of the issues from my past and from my family, and to pass on less of those issues to them. With my community, I hope to leave the remembrance of Christ. I’m so very far from that. But when I was in high school, the mom of one of my classmates died. I went to her funeral, and it was beautiful. She was well remembered for being like Christ, selfless, giving, loving, genuine, generous, etc. I knew right then and there that that was how I wanted to be remembered. I’m so very far from that still, over 12 years later, but by God’s grace I hope to make it a little bit closer each day.